Crops springing up at AR State Parks

Crops springing up at AR State Parks

PARKIN, AR (KAIT) -There are a lot of things going on at Arkansas State Parks, but did you know that some of them are even growing crops?

Region 8 is known for its great farming and it actually goes way back into the history of the indians that once lived here.  Park Superintendent Ben Swadley at Parkin Archaeological State Park said that the crops the park is growing date back to the history of the Casqui indians that once lived in the area.

Swadley said, "They were what we call Mississippian indians. They grew crops, which means they no longer had to roam around and live in temporary areas to hunt, they could live in one place, cause they could grow crops in fields."

While the Casqui indians grew many crops that are still common in Region 8, some are a little different. Swadley said, "They called it the three sisters, which are corn, beans, and squash.  That's in our garden, now also we have at least 15 acres or so of sunflowers."

Plans are already in store for the crops this year. Swadley said that they will be taking all of the vegetables grown in the garden and using them for a native american food tasting day this fall, which is what some of the sunflowers will be used for as well.

Although, Swadley did say that most of the sunflowers will be used for something else, "The large field of sunflowers, those will be mowed about once every two weeks, we'll mow a strip in it.  So that all of the wildlife and birds, throughout this whole Winter will be able to enjoy quality food."

Swadley said the weather this year has been great as far as weather is concerned for the crops and is excited for when it comes time to harvest.

For more information on events happening at Parkin Archaeological State Park as well as other state parks around Region 8 you can go to

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